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Styx The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings album cover
3.38 | 26 ratings | 8 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (70:39):
1. Movement for the Common Man: Children of the Land/Street Collage/Fanfar (13:14)
2. Right Away (3:41)
3. What Has Come Between Us (4:57)
4. Best Thing (3:15)
5. Quick Is the Beat of My Heart (3:51)
6. After You Leave Me (4:05)
7. You Need Love (3:45)
8. Lady (3:00)
9. Day (8:24)
10. You Better Ask (3:56)
11. Little Fugue in "G" (1:17)
12. Father O.S.A. (7:07)
13. Earl of Roseland (4:41)
14. I'm Gonna Make You Feel It (2:27)
15. Unfinished Song (*) (2:59)

CD 2 (77:14):
1. Witch Wolf (4:00)
2. Grove of Eglatine (5:01)
3. Young Man (4:47)
4. As Bad as This (6:09)
5. Winner Takes All (3:06)
6. 22 Years (3:41)
7. Jonas Psalter (4:42)
8. Serpent Is Rising (4:52)
9. Krakatoa (1:35)
10. Hallelujah Chorus {From Handel's Messiah} (1:33)
11. Rock & Roll Feeling (3:04)
12. Havin' a Ball (3:58)
13. Golden Lark (3:37)
14. Song for Suzanne (5:04)
15. Man Like Me (2:59)
16. Lies (2:49)
17. Evil Eyes (4:10)
18. Southern Woman (3:11)
19. Christopher, Mr. Christopher (4:01)
20. Man of Miracles (4:55)

Total Time: 147:52

Line-up / Musicians

- James Young / guitar, vocals
- Dennis DeYoung / keyboards, synthesizer, vocals
- John Curulewski / guitar, synthesizer, vocals
- Chuck Panozzo / bass, vocals
- John Panozzo / drums, percussion, vocals

- Barry Fasman / horn arrangements, string arrangements

Releases information

2xCD Hip-o Records

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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STYX The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

STYX The Complete Wooden Nickel Recordings reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars Well my good score -due to the enthusiastic moments only- regarding the recent 2005 tour of the new-line up, is my attempt to ask the critics for listening to their strong performances live on stage nowadays: as a matter of fact this US band is able to convince their denigrators about its quality, despite of forgetting the ingenuosness of a few commercial music songs,giving us a lot of easy-listening music passages !! Certainly I remember the first time I listened to Styx and my first impression as well received from the melodic notes at the piano by Dennis was pleasant but nothing more than a melodic pop rock version of the early Genesis,being also enriched by means of several references to such 70's classic and melodic hard rock (coming for instance from bands such as Uriah Heep); but after all, considering their strange attitude to a kind of accessible pompous rock, being anyway seldom banal, We have to appreciate this US band!! Their lyrics are the unique bad example of course, nevertheless their impact live, especially their most progressive songs, are like an hurricane on stage!! This collection doesn't make you think of a great band, but anyway if you take care of their attention to details (especially during their pleasant solos in the recent Tour recalling the old times), you have to change your mind!!

Such a great professionalism on stage,also taking care for the songs written by the original members, as the execution of the old songs played by the new-line up (Chuck Panozzo is the sole survivor of the original ensemble) is much more persuasive,more over making them earn a special mention!!

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars On average, I have only given three stars on the first four albums of Styx. Don't get me wrong here with this remastered of their first four albums I give full four stars rating. The main reason is that this complete recordings packaged beautifully with excellent sound production and original artwork of the album. That brings special value for those who knew the band since its debut album. For those who know Styx for the "Come Sailaway" or "Babe" or "Show Me The Way" era, this compilation might not rate that high. But that's okay, I fully understand.

Excellent Recordings of First Four Albums

As far as prog concern, debut album by Styx can be considered as prog as some compositions have the music that characterized prog e.g. tempo and / or style changes. The opening track that serves like an epic with four parts has all the ingredients of what prog band usually offer. One part "Fanfare for The Common Man" (Aaron Copland) is a famous part where Emerson Lake and Palmer (ELP) also played. "Movement For The Common Man" even though sounds like disjointed between parts it still offer a good style of music that most proggers might enjoy. Another song that has become one of my favorite Styx songs is "What Has Come Between Us" - it offers great vocal harmony and excellent melody. One of the band's key strengths is their choir comprising members of the band's voice. The debut album gives you a cohesive stream of Styx music that later became well- known with its unique style. At first glance, you might hear the influence of Uriah Heep especially on guitar parts that resemble what Mick Box typically plays. But Styx has its own brand name that sets apart from any other rock bands. This is a good addition to any prog (rock) music collection even though the music tends to be a hard rock one.

Styx II might not be a seminal album to consider; and it's not truly a prog album in conservative way . or something that in the past called it something as "art rock". In a more open mind way, this album does have some prog elements as well, even though not symphonic. However, in subjective judgment from my point of view this album has been very critical to develop me further as prog lover and it has been part of my life. The opening track "You Need Love" (3:44) might not be something that catches your attention at all when you hear the song at first time. But if you look this song into deep, you will find that all key characteristics of Styx sound was built through this track. Look how the choirs are performed and how Dennis De Young handles vocal department. The music grooves as well as guitar solo confirm the characteristics of Styx music which will carry forward into later days. "Lady" (2:56) was a major hit and is still now being played by FM radio because its pop orientation.

"A Day" (8:19) is a very melodic song with mellow opening, powerful singing style. The music is characterized by percussion as rhythm section augmented with keyboard and good bass guitar. I love this song the whole thing for an 8 minute duration! "You Better Ask" (3:54) is a jazzy-pop style which is quite catchy. "Little Fugue in G" (1:17) is basically a very nice organ work. The organ work is so catchy and memorable, it serves as great opening for the next great song: "Father O.S.A. " (7:08). It starts beautifully with excellent drumming right after the organ sound fades out, followed with nice guitar riffs that become critical elements of this excellent track. The music is nice, combining great guitar work, soaring organ work and good drum work.

The fourth album Man of Miracles was my first introduction to Styx. This is definitely NOT a prog album as the music is a straight rock music. However, this is an excellent rock album. Christopher, Mr. Christopher was then a hit in my country in mid of 70s. It's a very nice pop rock song with good keyboard and guitar works. The song itself is very melodic especially the song ambience at intro part where the guitar and drums work together beautifully. The other tracks of my favorites are: A Song for Suzanne (nice intro part), Lies, Evil Eyes (this is really great track! Especially on the melody and vocal line, combined with music ambience which supports the song), Man of Miracle (great organ work) and Southern Woman (energetic rock), Golden Lark (mellow track with an excellent piano). Styx strong point is in its vocal.

This complete recordings of Styx first four albums is highly recommended for those who love Styx. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Now -this- is how you do a collection

Often band collections and compilations are a waste of time but here is one which ticks off all the boxes. It has purpose, it's complete, and it's a good value. Styx is a great American rock band who began their recording career with a small Midwest label and albums quite different than the mega-platinum ones they would release down the road. It has often not been easy for fans to check out the early years with original guitarist John Curulewski and his more progressive rock musings. In years past some fans have paid big bucks to procure these individual albums. Here, for under $20 bucks, you can have all -four- maiden albums in their entirety, with good remastered sound and fresh biographical notes.

The set includes the foot-stompin' Styx debut with their early epic "Movement for the Common Man," and a sound that bounced all over the map, from British progressive rock, hard rock, blues, and Southern rock The second Styx album included the big hit "Lady" and John Curulewski's fantastic "A Day." Third came their most experimental and diverse set called "The Serpent is Rising," when for a brief moment they gagged Dennis DeYoung and stuffed him in the closet, handing over the control to JC. Some people, DeYoung included, hate this album but I think it's a blast. The fourth album "Man of Miracles" was a disappointment but included a few DeYoung tracks in which you could really hear his songwriting skills developing.

These albums set the listener up for Equinox and Crystal Ball, the two transition albums which marked the replacement of Curulewski by Tommy Shaw. They were all commercial failures but served their purpose in honing the skills of the musicians and building a fan base. Some fans belittle this first era, while a few think it is better than the big time successes of later. In any case, success didn't come easy for this band. They were together a decade before releasing their first album and 15 years before they really hit the big time. In my opinion both halves of their first recording decade are very enjoyable in their own ways.

This is an excellent set which provides great value and puts four albums into your hands. If you have any interest in the band and don't have this material, jump on this release before it goes out of print.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Okay, first let me get it out there that I enjoy the classic albums of Styx. You know, Equinox, Grand Illusion, ...etc...but I consider the Wooden Nickel years to be pre-classic. I did have these as albums many years ago but failed to like them much. Rough, bluesy, rocky, unfufilled ideas, murky ... (read more)

Report this review (#636543) | Posted by mohaveman | Monday, February 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A collective sigh of relief in rounding up all of these Wooden Nickel recordings can surely be heard now! Finally, we have all four Styx releases (not counting 1977's "Best Of") under one bonnet, as it were, and it's stunning. "Man of Miracles" Back in 1981, I had my first glimpse into the ... (read more)

Report this review (#497730) | Posted by buck1110 | Friday, August 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When most folks think of Styx, they obviously think of "Come Sail Away", "Renegade", "Blue Collar Man", etc. The late 70s / early 80s hits. Most folks aren't familiar with the band's first four albums, recorded for a small label with sometimes crappy production before getting signed to A&M Record ... (read more)

Report this review (#100446) | Posted by rasiler | Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Styx early career was full of high pitched, jagged and uneven, screechy, sloppy and generally unpleasing music. This collection is simply their first four albums on two discs. If you really want to get these albums, then get this collection and save some money, but having each individual album would ... (read more)

Report this review (#96059) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Styx gets a bad rap from many prog-rock fans as being second rate or sell-outs, boot- leg and with the music of their later career this may be true. Just like Yes, or Genesis.. They become a normal pop band during the late seventies. Their early work of the first four albums is for the most par ... (read more)

Report this review (#72277) | Posted by B360Lightning | Sunday, March 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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